Darrell Newton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
211 Somsen Hall (507.457.5010)
The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs oversees all academic matters for the University, which includes maintaining the curriculum and making it available to students, assuring the quality of instruction, administering the academic policies and requirements of the University, managing enrollment, and maintaining a stimulating learning environment.
Policy Changes: Administrative and committee actions may change policies that affect students at any time. Students are responsible for complying with changes as they are reported either in the student newspaper (the Winonan) or in announcements posted in the Warrior Hub (Maxwell Hall) or on the University’s website.
The colleges within the university that offer graduate programs are the College of Education, College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and College of Science & Engineering. In addition to the Master of Science, Master of Arts, Specialist degree, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Education, and Professional Science Master’s degree, various advanced licensure and certificate programs are available. Each graduate student is responsible for complying with the regulations for admission, registration, completion of candidacy/program forms, program requirements, graduation requirements, and all other deadlines and stipulations applying to graduate study. The University catalog in effect at the time of approval of the Application for Admission to Candidacy governs student program and degree requirements. Deadlines applying to graduate students are specified in the academic calendar.
Undergraduate Students in Graduate Courses
Students who have been admitted into an approved graduate program may be allowed to use up to sixteen (16) semester graduate (500 level) credits to complete baccalaureate degree requirements. These graduate level course credits may apply toward undergraduate degree requirements, and may also apply to graduate program requirements.
Courses numbered 600 and above are for graduate credit only and no undergraduate may enroll in them. Dual listed courses for either graduate or undergraduate credit are 400/500 level, with the 400 level for undergraduate credit and the corresponding 500 number for graduate credit. Students admitted into the approved graduate program must register for the 500 level course for credits to count for both the undergraduate and graduate programs.
Students registered in 500-numbered courses will be required to do additional work to meet course requirements. Graduate credit will not be given for courses at the 500 level to students who have already received credit for an equivalent undergraduate course.
Graduate Special Students (non-degree seeking)
A student who has completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university and who wishes to enroll in graduate courses, but does not intend to pursue a graduate degree at Winona State University, may register as a graduate special student. Prospective graduate special students must complete an online application form (non-degree seeking) to be admitted to the university. Admission as a graduate special student does not constitute admission to a graduate degree program.
A graduate special student who later wishes to enter a graduate degree program at Winona State University must meet all requirements for admission to graduate study and complete an online Application for Admission to Graduate Study. Please review the program website to determine if an additional departmental application is required for the particular program in which to major. A maximum of twelve (12) semester graduate credits earned as a graduate special student may be accepted into a degree program upon recommendation of the major department.
Graduate assistantships are awarded to provide graduate students with additional study and experience in their field through interaction with faculty and staff. Graduate assistants may be assigned to instructional, laboratory, research, and/or other professional duties. A graduate assistant works under the direct supervision of a graduate faculty member or full-time professional employee with a Master’s degree or equivalent experience and expertise in the area of the assignment.
Graduate assistantships are available to highly qualified graduate students. Graduate assistants receive a stipend and may receive tuition assistance. Applicants should submit applications for assistantships to the appropriate department chairperson/program director. Anyone who has been appointed to a graduate assistantship prior to the first day of classes shall be granted resident tuition status for the period of the appointment.
All degree requirements including credits to be earned, transfer credits, final examinations, thesis, required research papers, and all other program requirements must be completed within the seven (7) years prior to the awarding of the degree, except for the Specialist degree in Educational Leadership, wherein the limitation is eight (8) years and the Doctor of Nursing Practice is seven (7) years.
Under exceptional extenuating circumstances, a student may submit a petition through their advisor and to the Dean for School of Graduate Studies requesting an extension of the time limitation. Such a request is to contain all pertinent facts, justifying rationale, and a plan for degree completion. The Extension Request to Complete Degree form is located on the School of Graduate Studies website.
Courses numbered 600 and above are for graduate credit only and no undergraduate may enroll in them. Courses for either graduate or undergraduate credit are 400/500 level, with the 400 level for undergraduate credit and the corresponding 500 number for graduate credit. Compare the graduate and undergraduate catalogs to determine these courses. Graduate students registered in the 500 numbered courses will be required to do additional work to meet course requirements. Graduate credit will not be given for courses at the 500 level to students who have already received credit for an equivalent undergraduate course.
Courses offered for a letter grade only will be listed as Grade Only in the specific course description. Courses offered Pass/No Credit only will be listed as P/NC in the course description. If no grading option is listed in the course description, the course may be taken for either a letter grade or a Pass/NC.
Credit Limitations and Overloads
Six (6) credits of enrollment per semester are required for full-time status for students receiving financial aid. No graduate student is permitted to enroll for more than twelve (12) credits per academic semester or six (6) credits during the summer session without approval from the appropriate area dean or Dean for School of Graduate Studies by submitting a credit overload request. This regulation applies to any combination of courses, workshops, weekend seminars, institutes, and other special offerings.
Transfers of Graduate Credits
The Graduate Council sets the general standard for the transfer of credit. A limited number of graduate course credits acquired at another accredited college or university may be included as part of a student’s program of study, with approval of the student’s advisor, the department chairperson/program director, and the Dean for School of the Graduate Studies. If credit is transferred, only the credit is transferred, not the grade. Transfer credits will be accepted only after they have been approved as part of the student’s degree program on the Application for Admission to Candidacy Form or Program Plan.
Approval of credit is granted by the graduate program based on the specific program requirements described in the Graduate Catalog, as well as (1) the number of credits requested, (2) the appropriateness of credit for inclusion in the degree program, and (3) the currency of the credit. These criteria are described below. Any exceptions must be approved by the student’s advisor and the Graduate Council. One (1) official copy of all transcripts must be sent to the School of Graduate Studies, Somsen 210C, Winona State University, PO Box 5838, Winona, MN 55987.
Number of credits: Master’s, Specialist, and Doctoral degree students are allowed up to ten (10) semester graduate credits of A, B, or Pass grades if earned from regionally accredited graduate institutions and recorded as a graduate course on the official transcript. If graduate credits are being transferred from other Minnesota State Universities (Bemidji, Mankato, Metropolitan, Moorhead, St. Cloud, and Southwest) and/or the University of Minnesota, WSU may accept up to 16 credits. Subject to university approval, consortium/cooperative agreements for special degree programs may develop transfer credit regulations that apply only to students in those programs.
Appropriateness of credit: Transfer credit must be approved by the program faculty as appropriate for inclusion as part of the student’s degree requirements. Credit cannot be awarded for:
- courses taken prior to completion of an undergraduate degree program
- courses that would not receive graduate credit if taken at WSU
- courses with a grade lower than B (3.00)
- thesis or dissertation research credits received at another institution,
- life experience
- credit by examination
- non-credit extension courses, workshops, and in-service training credits
- correspondence courses
- thesis supervision
Transfer credit from an accredited Online University may be included as part of the student’s program with approval of the student’s advisor, the department chairperson/ program director, and the Dean for the School of the Graduate Studies through the Application for Admission to Candidacy.
Currency of credit: Transfer credit must be taken within seven years of completion of the Master’s degree and within ten years of completion of the Doctoral degree. Students wishing to apply course content after exceeding the time limit must demonstrate currency of knowledge in the field of study to which they are applying. Currency of knowledge must be formally evaluated by the student’s advisor and documentation included with the Candidacy Form of Program Plan.
Appeal Process: Students who feel that their requests for transfer credit have been inappropriately denied may appeal as follows:
- Denial by the student’s advisor can be appealed to the department chairperson.
- Denial by the department chairperson or program director can be appealed to the college dean.
- Denial by the college dean can be appealed to the Dean for School of Graduate Studies who will submit it to the Graduate Council for a final decision.
Supplement to Candidacy/Program Form for Transfer of Graduate Credits
After the Application for Candidacy/Program has been completed, enrollment at another college or university with the expectation of credit transfer must be approved by the advisor and the chairperson/program director of the student’s major department on a Supplement to Candidacy/Program form. Only grades of A, B, or Pass will be accepted in transfer and will not be used for computation of the required WSU grade point average.
Pass grades may be accepted in transfer and applied to a graduate program, but in no case may the credits exceed the limits set forth in the Pass/No Credit Courses section below.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Academic warning letters will be sent to graduate students who earn a grade of C or lower in any one course, who at any point carried a grade of IP or I in any 3 or more graduate courses or whose cumulative grade point average is lower than 3.0. Students will be evaluated at the end of the following term to determine their continued status in the graduate program. Each semester hour of credit attempted receives honor points according to the following: each A credit = 4 honor points; each B credit = 3 honor points; each C credit = 2 honor points; each D credit = 1 honor point; each F credit = 0 honor points. The grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of honor points by the total number of credits attempted. Only those courses and credits taken at WSU will count for the computation of grade point averages. Although courses taken on a pass/no credit basis grant credit applying toward graduation, the credit does not affect the cumulative grade point average. An A = Excellent, B = Good, C = Average, D = Poor, F = Failure, P = Passing, NC = No Credit, W = Official Withdrawal, V = Audit (registration without credit or grade). In addition, temporary grades may be issued as follows: IP = In Progress, Z = No Grade Reported, see Instructor. No course will be counted if the grade is below C. These are minimum standards and the departments offering graduate programs may require higher standards.
In Progress (IP) Grades
An In Progress (IP) is permitted by the instructor for special cases when circumstances prevent the student from completing course requirements by the end of the semester, although the student is passing the course in all other respects.
All IP grades must be removed within one calendar year from the end of the semester in which an incomplete is incurred or the course grade becomes an F. All IP grades for course work must be removed before a graduate degree is granted.
The course audit procedure permits a student to attend classes but not receive credit. Courses pursued on an audit basis must be declared and processed prior to completing the student’s registration. Regular tuition charges apply. Students may not use “audit” credits to satisfy graduation, certification, or licensure requirements.
Pass/No Credit Courses (P/NC)
Courses taken on a pass/no credit basis receive credit towards graduation. These credits do not affect the cumulative grade point average. Completion of such a course is entered P (pass) or NC (no credit) on the permanent record. Departments designate which courses may be taken on the pass/no credit basis. A student may be allowed to count nine (9) credits of P/NC regular coursework on the master’s degree. Internships, workshops, clinicals or practicums, which are only offered on a P/NC basis, may also be applied toward the degree program, if approved as part of the Application for Candidacy/Program. The P/NC limit for the Specialist and Doctorate degree is 16 credits. Consult the graduate departments for any additional restrictions. A grade of “pass” means at least B quality work for graduate credit.
Grade Appeal Policy
The evaluation of student performance in courses and the reporting of appropriate grades are faculty responsibilities. However, students sometimes feel that their academic work was evaluated unfairly. The process for student appeals of grades is as follows:
- Any student who wants to appeal a grade must confer with the instructor within the first 10 academic calendar days of the next term (excluding summer terms) in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
- If the student and the faculty member come to agreement, the process ends.
- If the student and the faculty member do not come to agreement, then the student may file a written Grade Appeal Form available at the Warrior Hub, second floor Maxwell hall on the Winona campus or in the Student and Campus Services Office on the Rochester campus. The written appeal must be sent to the Grade Appeals Committee (GAC) chairperson within 30 academic calendar days of the next term (excluding summer terms); a copy of the appeal must be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
A Hearing Committee, which is a subcommittee of the GAC, will review the case as presented by the student and the faculty member. Both parties are entitled to assistance and advice from members of the academic community in presenting their case to the subcommittee. The Hearing Committee may recommend that the instructor do one of the following:
- Make no change in the grade
- Re-evaluate the student’s academic work
- Change the grade
The GAC chair will convey the recommendation to the student and to the instructor and the VPAA. After this step has been taken, the GAC and its Hearing Subcommittee will have no further direct involvement in the process.
The instructor should provide a response to the student and the VPAA regarding the Hearing Committee’s recommendation within five (5) academic calendar days. The instructor is not required to comply with the recommendation of the GAC Hearing Subcommittee. However, the instructor should respond in one of the following ways:
- No response: The instructor chooses to not respond within five (5) academic calendar days. The student and the VPAA shall interpret this as a decision to not change the grade.
- Response without reevaluation of student’s work: The instructor should indicate within five (5) academic calendar days, whether the grade will be changed or not. The instructor is encouraged (but not required) to provide a rationale for the decision. This will be considered the instructor’s final response. A copy of this final response should be sent to the VPAA.
- Response with reevaluation: The instructor should notify the student and the VPAA of this intent within five (5) academic calendar days. The instructor will complete this reevaluation and send the student and VPAA a final response within ten (10) academic calendar days of receiving the GAC chair’s notification. The instructor should indicate whether the grade will be changed or not. The instructor is encouraged (but not required) to provide a rationale for the decision.
If the student wants to contest the final decision of the instructor, they should submit a letter presenting their case to the VPAA within five (5) academic calendar days of receiving the instructor’s final response, or if no response, within ten (10) academic calendar days from the GAC chair’s notification.
- The VPAA may request additional information before resolving the matter. Within ten (10) academic calendar days of receiving the student’s letter of contestation, the VPAA will either support or over-ride the instructor’s final decision. The VPAA will inform the student, the instructor, and (if a grade change is involved) the Office of the Registrar of the appeal’s final resolution and its rationale.
- Neither the GAC nor the VPAA will review a second appeal for the same course and grade after a decision has been made by the VPAA or after the case has been considered closed.
- Expedited appeals may be considered on a case-by-case basis due to, but not limited by: scholarship deadlines, graduation, military responsibilities, or prerequisite consideration.
Projects beyond the scope or range of regular graduate courses may be pursued on an independent study basis. Arrangement must be made with the instructor and be approved by the advisor, department chairperson, college dean and the Dean for the School of Graduate Studies. Application for independent study must be completed according to announced deadlines specified in the class schedules. A maximum of nine (9) credits of independent study (3 credits in one semester or summer session) may be counted toward the approved degree program. Any exceptions will be considered on an individual basis. Application forms may be obtained from the department office or the Warrior Hub - 2nd Floor, Maxwell Hall.
A student who desires to enroll in a course that is listed in the WSU Catalog, but not offered during a specified term, must complete an Arranged Class Application Form. Application forms may be obtained from the department office or the Warrior Hub - 2nd Floor, Maxwell Hall.
The application must be approved by the instructor of the arranged course, advisor, chairperson/program director of the student’s major department, college dean, and the Dean for the School of Graduate Studies. Arranged courses may only be pursued during those semesters when the course is not offered through the regular schedule. Application for arranged classes must be completed according to announced deadlines specified in the class schedules. Only two required core courses may be taken on an arranged basis following appropriate approvals, and a maximum of nine (9) credits (core and electives) may be counted toward the approved degree program. Any exceptions will be considered on an individual basis.
Internships/Practicums/Clinicals are available or required in many departments. The conditions and requirements are determined by the department supervising the experience. Applications, if necessary, must be completed according to announced deadlines specified in the class schedules. For descriptions and limitations, see Course Descriptions . Application forms for internships may be obtained from the department office or the Warrior Hub - 2nd Floor, Maxwell Hall.
In the event a student must drop and/or add a course after registration has been completed, the regulations published in the class schedule must be followed. For further information contact the Warrior Hub - 2nd Floor, Maxwell Hall or the WSU Rochester Center (depending on how the course was offered).
Course and University Withdrawal
If a student withdraws either from a class or from the University, he/she is required to contact the Warrior Hub or WSU-Rochester to complete the appropriate forms. Withdrawals must be requested before the deadline date published in the class schedule. If a student processes the withdrawal by the deadline date he/she will receive a mark of withdrawal (W) on his/her transcript. If a student withdraws (W) from a course he/she is repeating, the original grade is included in the computation of the GPA. If a student drops a course or withdraws from the University without giving official notification to the Warrior Hub or WSU-Rochester, he/she will be given a grade of F. If a student withdraws from the University during any semester, he/she must discharge all business obligations and notify the Warrior Hub - 2nd Floor, Maxwell Hall.
Transcripts are issued by the Warrior Hub only upon written request since student records are confidential in nature. Partial transcripts are not issued. Each transcript must include a student’s complete record. As the university cannot certify credit earned at other institutions, copies of such transcripts will not be issued. All Winona State University transcript requests will be issued free of charge. Transcripts may be requested in person at the Warrior Hub - 2nd Floor, Maxwell Hall through the United States Postal Service or by fax. Current students may request an official transcript using an online form.
Academic and Behavioral Integrity
Academic Integrity at Winona State University is based on honesty. The University requires that work produced by students represents their personal efforts and requires that they properly acknowledge the intellectual contributions of others.
WSU students are required to adhere to the University’s standards of academic integrity. Following are examples of behaviors considered unacceptable and viewed as violations of the academic integrity policy:
Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials in any academic exercise or having someone else do work for you. Examples of cheating include looking at another student’s work, bringing an unauthorized “crib sheet” to a test, obtaining a copy of a test prior to the test date, or submitting homework borrowed from another student.
Deception and Misrepresentation: Lying about or misrepresenting your work, academic records, or credentials. Examples of deception and misrepresentation include forging signatures, falsifying application credentials or transcripts, and misrepresenting group participation.
Enabling Academic Dishonesty: Helping someone else to commit an act of academic dishonesty. This would include giving someone else an academic assignment with the intent of allowing that person to copy it or allowing someone else to cheat from your test papers, quizzes, assessments or other course materials.
Fabrication: Refers to inventing or falsifying information. Examples of fabrication include inventing data for an experiment you did not do or did not do correctly or making references to sources you did not use in academic assignments.
Multiple Submissions: Submitting work you have done in previous classes as if it were new and original work. Although faculty may be willing to let you use previous work as the basis of new work, they expect you to do new work for the class. Students seeking to submit a piece of work to more than one class should seek the permission of both instructors.
Plagiarism: Using the words or ideas of another writer without proper acknowledgment, so that they seem as if they are your own. Plagiarism includes behavior such as copying someone else’s work word for word, rewriting someone else’s work with only minor word changes, and/or summarizing someone else’s work without acknowledging the source.
Consequences for Academic Violations
Consequences for academic violations are most often addressed by the instructor and the student at the time of the violation. The instructor’s determination is final unless appealed to the dean of the college.
Possible consequences at the discretion of:
- Faculty: Re-do the exam or assignment, award a lower or failing grade on an assignment and/or the course, or allow the student to withdraw from the course
- Department: Dismissal from a program or major
- Dean: Administrative withdrawal of the student from a course after consultation with the instructor
- Vice President for Student Life and Development: Disciplinary probation or suspension
Note: There may be circumstances where the Dean of the College, in collaboration with the WSU Director of Student Conduct and Citizenship, will determine that the case will be heard as a student conduct issue. Students found culpable of a violation(s) will face disciplinary consequences as defined in the Student Conduct Code. The WSU Student Conduct Code can be obtained online or in the Office of Student Life and Development.
- Oral or written notice of the charges from the faculty member is required even though an immediate consequence may be imposed.
- An explanation of the evidence against the student. Note: Evidence may be physical or in the form of witnesses or observers.
- An opportunity for the student to present his/her side of the story
- Notice of the decision(s)
- An opportunity to appeal the decision(s)
A student appealing a faculty, department, or dean’s decision should meet within 14 calendar days on an informal basis with the faculty member, department chair, or dean directly involved in the situation in an attempt to address the matter and resolve the issue(s). If the student is not comfortable working with the faculty member or if the student is not able to get a response within this period of time, they may appeal to the next higher level of authority.
A student may appeal the decision in Step I and has 14 calendar days to meet with and present a dated, signed, and written account of the circumstances to the appropriate college dean. The appeal shall contain a statement indicating the reason for the appeal and the relief requested. The academic dean (or higher authority) shall respond to the student and faculty member with a written decision within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.
Written appeals must be based on one or more of the following reasons:
- The evidence presented at the meeting between the faculty and the student does not support the outcome.
- There are facts not brought out in the original meeting which may affect the outcome.
- There was a procedural error which could have affected the outcome of the meeting.
- The consequences were perceived as excessively severe.
If the issue is not resolved in Step II, the student has 14 calendar days to appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. This appeal should be a dated, signed, and written account of the situation. The vice president shall respond to the student, faculty member and dean with a written decision within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the vice president is final. The 14 day response period does not include breaks and holidays. A time extension may be granted upon request to the dean (STEP II) or academic vice president (STEP III). Failure to submit a timely appeal, or request for extension, constitutes a waiver of any right to request an appeal.
Graduate Student Appeals Process (General)
Winona State University graduate students have the right to appeal academic decisions. An unfavorable ruling at one level can be appealed to the successive levels. Wherever the student enters the process, the remainder of the communication line must be completed. At each level, the student must write a letter of appeal outlining the conflict and what process has been followed up to that point. Below is the communication flow chart.
- Student Advisor: if the problem has not been solved to student satisfaction, appeal to the:
- Department Chairperson: If the problem has not been solved to student satisfaction, appeal to the:
- Dean of the College: If the problem has not been solved to student satisfaction, appeal to the:
- Graduate Council: If the problem has not been solved to student satisfaction, appeal to the:
- Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Applications for graduation must be submitted at least one term prior to graduation. It is the sole responsibility of the student to ensure that all incompletes and program requirements are completed and submitted to the respective program department within ten (10) working days following the end of the semester of graduation. Late completion and submission of requirements will result in postponement of graduation to a later semester.